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Harlow Council set to approve contract worth £1.28 million to enhance tower block fire safety

30 Mar Harlow Council set to approve contract worth £1.28 million to enhance tower block fire safety

Harlow Council’s Cabinet is set to approve funding of £1.28 million to carry out a range of fire safety enhancements to council-owned flats at the Brenthall Towers and Stort Tower.

The contract for the works set out in a report to cabinet tonight (24 March 2022), will involve fire safety works for Brenthall Towers and Stort Tower following updated fire risk assessments. Works include enhancing the compartmentation between floors, in service and ventilation ducts, the replacement of front entrance and internal fire doors, as well as decoration works.

Following the Grenfell Tower fire the council has an ongoing programme of tower block fire safety enhancements. The work in this programme is prioritised against each of our tower blocks’ fire risk assessments and the changing building standards issued as the Grenfell public inquiry continues. As part of this programme back in September 2021 the council awarded a contract for £1m for works on Pennymead, Netteswell and Spring Hills towers.

As part of the council’s budget agreed in February, £122 million is planned to be spent over the next 5 years to continue maintaining and improving council homes and flats. This includes £5.6 million to enhance fire safety in tower blocks and flats to meet ongoing changes in building legislation.

Councillor Simon Carter, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Our tower blocks are inherently safe and none of them have any unsafe cladding. They are inspected weekly by Housing staff and regularly by the fire services and this is to ensure that our tower blocks are kept safe. Since the Grenfell fire, money has continued to be put aside for ongoing major works like those proposed to Brenthall Towers and Stort Tower so the council can meet the latest and updated building safety guidance. This ensures that we can continue enhancing fire safety to reassure those living in our tower blocks.”

Tonight Cabinet is also set to agree a further £1.2m contract for the refurbishment of 5 flat blocks in Five Acres which includes fire safety enhancements identified from updated fire risk assessments. The works include pitched roof and chimneys, brickwork and crack repairs, replacing shiplap cladding with upvc with insulation to reduce the risk of condensation and also improve energy efficiency, replacement windows, flat entrance doors and communal doors and external landscaping repairs.